The City of Albuquerque has requested millions of dollars in state funding for improvements to its Route 66 corridor, including its soon-to-open Route 66 Visitor Center.
A report by KRQE-TV in Albuquerque and the city’s own priorities list to the New Mexico Legislature provide the details on the requests:
— $15 million to move Unser Racing Museum to Central Avenue (aka Route 66). The museum is at 1776 Montaño Road, several miles north of Route 66. The Unser racing family traces its roots to Albuquerque and its patriarch’s gas station on Route 66.
— $15 million for Route 66 Visitor Center improvements. “Plan, design, construct, expand, purchase, install signage, educational projects, historical preservation, walking pedestrian overlook bridge and equip a Visitor Center on-site and off-site improvements and multi-use trail along West Central Avenue in Albuquerque in Bernalillo county,” the priorities list states.
The visitor center is scheduled to open to the public this spring, though no date has been set.
— $5 million for the Route 66 Centennial Celebration in 2026. “To plan, design, construct, purchase, equip and install improvements to Route 66, including roadwork, signage, historic preservation and educational projects in preparation for the national route 66 centennial celebration, in Albuquerque in Bernalillo county,” the priorities list stated.
— $1.5 million for East Central Avenue lighting. “To plan, design, and construct sidewalks, install street lighting, and other pedestrian and safety improvements on East Central A venue between Louisiana Boulevard and Eubank Boulevard in Albuquerque in Bernalillo county.”
— $50,000 for East Central Avenue archway. “Plan, design, purchase right-of-way, equip, furnish, and construct an archway for East Central A venue in Albuquerque in Bernalillo county.”
— $79,000 for Tramway/Central pedestrian safety landscaping and fencing. “Plan, design, construct, equip public safety fencing for Central and Tramway area in Albuquerque in Bernalillo county.”
The legislature will make a final decision on statewide capital outlay projects by end of its session in mid-March.
(Image of one of the Route 66 gateways in the Nob Hill area of Albuquerque by Thomas Hawk via Flickr)